Imagine a memory-care facility where residents can walk out to a sunny courtyard on their own, host family gatherings in an intimate living room or eat their meals whenever they please.

Imagination has become reality with Serenades by Sonata, a new concept in living for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Serenades, a 42-unit, 57-bed purpose-built facility, is already winning “best of the best” accolades from the Assisted Living Federation of America, which has named it a program to watch.

“They’ve recognized that we’re changing memory-care programming with this model,” says Brooke Ellis, the vice president of sales and marketing for Sonata Senior Living. The company has operated facilities in Central Florida for more than a decade. “We think in terms of the three P’s at Serenades: Purpose-built design; person-directed care, which means we really want to get to know the residents and build services around them; and partnerships with families, which means we want to hear all about their loved one and get the families involved in the community.”

Serenades by Sonata, which opened in September, is built like a square doughnut, Ellis says, with the secure courtyard in the middle. The front area provides space for family visits, as well as computers that families can use, space for support groups and a resource library. The other three areas house three small neighborhoods where residents have private rooms, eat meals in a comfortable, family-kitchen-like setting and can walk outside to the sunny courtyard whenever they please. The facility also provides a range of medical care, some of it through third-party providers, which allows residents to age in place.

“This is the only place of its kind in the area,” Ellis says. “You have to see it to believe it.”

This article originally appeared in the October – November 2011 edition of “Lake Mary Health & Wellness Magazine”.

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